The House and Senate sent three bills to the Governor which if approved will impact local government employers.
1. SB 2896. This Bill makes IMRF employers liable for one-half of annuitant repayments due IMRF where the city knowingly hires an IMRF annuitant and fails to notify IMRF of such hiring.
IMRF employers will need to alter their employment practices to include a determination as to an applicant’s current status with IMRF. If the applicant is an IMRF annuitant, then the employer should notify IMRF to avoid any repayment liability.
2. HB 5684 is entitled The Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act. This Bill provides that employees under IMRF who began participation prior to January 1, 2011, may not receive a wage increase or lump sum payment if it makes the reportable monthly earnings 6% or more than the previous months reportable earnings, when such increase or payment is made during the final 12 months of employment, unless such payment is disclosed and approved at a public meeting of the governing body. The Bill requires public disclosure of the following: the identity of the employee, the purpose and amount of the increase or payment, the proposed retirement date, the effect of the payment upon the expected retirement annuity of the employee, and the effect of the payment upon the liability of the employer.
The Bill amends the Open Meeting Act to exclude compensation discussions from closed session if the compensation falls under the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act.
3. HB 1380. This Bill authorizes the imposition of costs and attorney fees by the court in favor of a prevailing party in actions to compel or stay grievance arbitration, or confirm or amend a grievance arbitration award. The bill also provides that any party obtaining a stay of an interest arbitration award who is not the prevailing party on court review may be ordered to pay costs and attorney fees to the other party.
Employers affected by these 3 new bills should monitor the bills to see if they are approved or vetoed by the Governor. Ancel Glink will continue to monitor these bills and provide updates as appropriate.